Australia berates tennis federation over India call

International Tennis FederationSydney - Australia declared Saturday it would boycott next month's Davis Cup tie against India in Chennai over security concerns after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) rejected its request for a neutral venue. The ITF insisted the May 8-10 matches go ahead, warning Tennis Australia (TA) of sanctions if its team stayed home.

TA head Geoff Pollard said it was "unreasonable" to expect the team to play in India during elections.

Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald also criticized the ITF, saying "some thought must be given to the players' safety."

Pollard demanded a security cordon for his players, "reasonably close to what you would give to a head of state."

Australian sports teams have a reputation for being easily spooked by security concerns.

After the 2005 London bus and train bombings, rugby players urged administrators to cancel tours to Britain for fear of putting themselves in danger.(dpa)